Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

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ralph
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Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ralph »

I'm aware that there's Adonai with a kamatz, that's Lord as in God. (Gen 15:2) אֲדֹנָי

There's Adoni, (same letters but with a Hirik vowel), is "my master/lord". Gen 23:6 "my lord"

There's Adonai with a patach, that's "my lords". Gen 19:2

There's Adonav , that has a kamatz, (as e.g. banav - his son, would). e.g. Gen 24:9 אֲדֹנָיו It seems to be the "master" (happens to be plural in form)..

Most of the time, Adonav seems like a reference to humans.

Hosea 12:15 Adonav is a reference to God.

Is it that adonav is grammatically ambiguous, and can thus refer to either.

Or is it that it's a reference to a master, and context determines if that master is God?

I suppose the latter would be simpler and can lead to a more consistent translation. (of his master), though I suppose it could still be singular or plural.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by Jason Hare »

There is no separate form. אֲדֹנָיו can refer to three different things:

1. A group of people being called "his lords," probably just a social naming convention, like saying "sirs" of sorts. This isn't very common.

2. A single slave owner. This is the case several times in the Bible. For example, Potiphar is called אֲדֹנָיו "his master." For example, Gen 39:3 reads וַיַּרְא אֲדֹנָיו כִּי יְהוָה אִתּוֹ "his master saw that Yhwh {was} with him." The verb used with this word is in the singular form.

3. God in relation to someone else (not yourself or the person you're talking to). I think Hosea 12:15 uses אֲדֹנָיו in relation to God, but this use is so rare as to be nearly non-existent.

There is no difference in form, so ⟨yes⟩ it is ambiguous. However, it is almost ALWAYS used to refer to a single king or slave owner.
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ducky
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ducky »

It must be singular.

וְחֶרְפָּתוֹ יָשִׁיב לוֹ אֲדֹנָיו
Notice the verb ישיב
singular


Once again, it is plural of Majesty

Just like Psalm 135:5
כִּי גָדוֹל י״י וַאֲדֹנֵינוּ מִכׇּל אֱלֹהִים
גדול = singular

or Nehemia 10:30
וְלַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כׇּל מִצְוֺת י״י אֲדֹנֵינוּ וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחֻקָּיו
משפטיו וחקיו = singular suffix

and also Nehemia 8:10
כי קדוש היום לאדנינו

And basically, Every אדני and every אלהים are grammatically plural but means singular.
And the meaning is basically "master/Lord and so on"

And the nice translation would be
וְחֶרְפָּתוֹ יָשִׁיב לוֹ אֲדֹנָיו
his lord
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ralph
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ralph »

ducky wrote: It must be singular.
you mean "it" must be singular in meaning plural in form.
ducky wrote: וְחֶרְפָּתוֹ יָשִׁיב לוֹ אֲדֹנָיו
Notice the verb ישיב
singular
so, you're quoting Hosea 12:15, which I mentioned.

There's no question that adonav is singular there. (though plural in form).

There are words in English that only have a plural form: -scissors, goggles, pants, underpants.

Some words in Hebrew only have a dual form. Yerushalayim, Mayim. Shamayim. But where there isn't necessarily a clear reason why.

Maybe there are words in Hebrew that are always plural in form even when only one unit is meant?

But you don't say "aha that's plural of majesty".

In English, "underpants" is plural, even when it's only one. But it's not "the plural of majesty", no matter whose underpants they are.
ducky wrote: Just like Psalm 135:5
כִּי גָדוֹל י״י וַאֲדֹנֵינוּ מִכׇּל אֱלֹהִים
גדול = singular
what's your point here?

Of course Gadol is singular.. and infact it says Gadol YHWH there's not the slightest question. But what's your point there?

Adoneinu is plural in form and singular in meaning clearly.

Elohim there is plural in meaning and form.
ducky wrote: or Nehemia 10:30
וְלַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת כׇּל מִצְוֺת י״י אֲדֹנֵינוּ וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחֻקָּיו
משפטיו וחקיו = singular suffix

and also Nehemia 8:10
כי קדוש היום לאדנינו
no surprises there.
ducky wrote: And basically, Every אדני and every אלהים are grammatically plural but means singular.
Clearly not the case for Elohim. Elohim is plural in form, but can be either singular in meaning, or plural in meaning, depending on context. This is well known.

As for Adonai.

First of all there are at least three possible vowel combinations that can be with ADNY/אדני (adonee, adonai with kamatz , adonai with patach)

Adonai with kamatz it's a name or title. I wouldn't have thoguht it was plural in form though I see groves wheeler morphological index as shown in bibleworks has it as plural in form.

Adonee is singular in form and meaning, it means "My master"

Adonai with patach is plural in form. And I think its meaning , and as to the "number" of its meaning.. Gen 19:2-plural in meaning. I don't know if it's ever singular in meaning.

(there's also adonei 1 Kings 16:24).

I don't know which אדני / ADNY, you had in mind.
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ducky »

ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am
ducky wrote: It must be singular.
you mean "it" must be singular in meaning plural in form.
ducky wrote: וְחֶרְפָּתוֹ יָשִׁיב לוֹ אֲדֹנָיו
Notice the verb ישיב
singular
so, you're quoting Hosea 12:15, which I mentioned.

There's no question that adonav is singular there. (though plural in form).
I wrote this because you finished your post with:
"though I suppose it could still be singular or plural".
So I said that it must be singular (in the meaning of course
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am There are words in English that only have a plural form: -scissors, goggles, pants, underpants.
the plural form fits the plural in the meaning.
All of these objects are physically two.
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am
Some words in Hebrew only have a dual form. Yerushalayim, Mayim. Shamayim. But where there isn't necessarily a clear reason why.
notice that ירושלים is a late form of ירושלם (no dual suffix).
As for שמים and מים - Even though it has a suffix like the dual suffix, it is probably not about dualism (or pluralism).
It is hard to know what was the morphological processes that eventually gave that suffix to these words, but I think that everyone would agree that dualism is not relevant for these words.
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am Maybe there are words in Hebrew that are always plural in form even when only one unit is meant?
When there is a countable meaning, I don't have in mind a word that is singular but comes in the plural - except for the name of God, and the words אדונים and בעלים.

Wors with abstract meanings as נעורים (youth) for example, or חיים life always comes in the plural, But they also get a plural adjective and so on.
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am In English, "underpants" is plural, even when it's only one. But it's not "the plural of majesty", no matter whose underpants they are.
the word "pants" has its plural form just like the trousers and slacks have it (because it has two sleeves).
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am
ducky wrote: And basically, Every אדני and every אלהים are grammatically plural but means singular.
Clearly not the case for Elohim. Elohim is plural in form, but can be either singular in meaning, or plural in meaning, depending on context. This is well known.
Yes. You're right.
ralph wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:01 am As for Adonai.

First of all there are at least three possible vowel combinations that can be with ADNY/אדני (adonee, adonai with kamatz , adonai with patach)

Adonai with kamatz it's a name or title. I wouldn't have thoguht it was plural in form though I see groves wheeler morphological index as shown in bibleworks has it as plural in form.
It is a plural form.
The Qamats is because it is a "name".
(and we should also wonder about cases in which it comes with Qamats, but not because it is a name, but because the Qamats just replace the Patah' because its pausal place.
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ralph
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ralph »

ducky wrote: I don't have in mind a word that is singular{in meaning} but comes in the plural{form} - except for the name of God, and the words אדונים and בעלים.
Note- I don't see Adonim spelt with a vav.

I see אדנים Kings 22:17 , good example.. I don't see בעלים

I see בעלי in 1 Samuel 23:12 but while that is plural in form, it's plural in meaning.

There is דמים Ex 4:26 (plural form, singular meaning), where maybe the plural form seems to serve an emphatic purpose?

Maybe אדנים is emphatic just as דמים Not specific to "majesty"?

ducky wrote: Wors with abstract meanings as נעורים (youth) for example, or חיים life always comes in the plural, But they also get a plural adjective and so on.
interesting.

I have seen that Chai can be a noun or an adjective e.g. apparently Chai in Gen 9:3 comes up as a noun in groves wheeler whereas Chai in Gen 3:20 comes up as an adjective.
ducky wrote: the word "pants" has its plural form just like the trousers and slacks have it (because it has two sleeves).
pants is plural because it used to be two separate items of clothing.

https://www.portablepress.com/blog/2016 ... ts-plural/

"From its inception in English, pants has been plural. It’s a shortened adaptation of pantaloons, those tight-like leg coverings worn by pirates and Shakespearean characters. And in those eras of 300 or 400 years ago, before pants were a single entity, pants were actually two separate garments. A person would put on each leg piece separately and then wrapped or tied together at the waist."
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Re: Is Adonav grammatically ambiguous? or is it never specifically divine? or always "his master(s)"?

Post by ducky »

ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm
ducky wrote: I don't have in mind a word that is singular{in meaning} but comes in the plural{form} - except for the name of God, and the words אדונים and בעלים.
Note- I don't see Adonim spelt with a vav.
You are very accurate.
I spelled it like that for the comfort of reading.
I didn't want you to search for that word exactly as it is spelled, but to look for the word אדון in its plural form (also construct plural form).
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm I see אדנים Kings 22:17 , good example..
There is also אדנים קשה in Isa. 19:4
which here, it comes straight with a singular adjective.
Also, I saw before that Jason wrote for you more example of אדניו and אדני (construct state) if I remember right.
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm I don't see בעלים
I see בעלי in 1 Samuel 23:12 but while that is plural in form, it's plural in meaning.
In this case, see for example בעליו in Ex. 21:29
וְגַם בְּעָלָיו יוּמָת
Here, the word בעליו is in the plural form, but its verb is יומת in the singular form.
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm There is דמים Ex 4:26 (plural form, singular meaning), where maybe the plural form seems to serve an emphatic purpose?
The word דם also comes in a plural form.
and it acts that way.
דם gets singular adjective.
and דמים gets plural adjective (1Kings 2:33; 1Ch. 22:8;)
(Don't see the Deut. 19:10 והיה עליך דמים as an example of דמים gets a singular verb because the case of היה (as a masculine singular verb) is different and it can come also with a subject that is not masculine singular).

You wonder if דמים comes in the plural to serve an emphatic purpose.
You could be right.
It seems that in most cases it comes as דמים with the idea of a crime, or that it has a ritual case.
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm Maybe אדנים is emphatic just as דמים Not specific to "majesty"?
But notice that דמים when it comes in plural, also gets a plural adjective/verb,
while אדנים comes in plural, but gets a singular adjective/verb

And anyway, it doesn't really matter how you want to call it.
If you want to change the "way of majesty" to "the way of emphasis", it doesn't matter.
But then, you should ask yourself: "why is it emphatic anyway?"
And your answer will be: "ahh, because it is majesty (or authority, or about dignity)".
So it doesn't really matter how you call it.
what is matter is - is that you understand the fact that these words אדנים בעלים אלהים have something in common and that they come in plural with a singular reference. And so the common thing, no matter how you call it, is probably the reason for that.
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm I have seen that Chai can be a noun or an adjective e.g. apparently Chai in Gen 9:3 comes up as a noun in groves wheeler whereas Chai in Gen 3:20 comes up as an adjective.
The word חי has a stative meaning (living is not an act, but it is a state) and it is actually a participle form.

When it comes to "stative-verbs" the line is thin between adjective and a noun. It is just a general note.

Anyway, I gave the word חיים as a noun with the meaning of life.
ralph wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:05 pm
ducky wrote: the word "pants" has its plural form just like the trousers and slacks have it (because it has two sleeves).
pants is plural because it used to be two separate items of clothing.

https://www.portablepress.com/blog/2016 ... ts-plural/
Nice to know that.
But still, it what I said before - two sleeves.
It doesn't matter if the sleeves are connected like the modern pants or trousers, or if they are not connected like the old pants. what matters is that this plural form comes because there are two physical things.
David Hunter
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